#1
This is sort of a repeat on my thread a while back. Basically, fairly new guitar with very little mileage and it has fret buzz. Looking a it it seems like it might be caused by the action being a little too low for the low E string. Now I could tune it a whole octave higher, but that stresses the string and the bridge is so far out off the body by that point it doesn't look healthy (it's one of those Ibanez bridges that's held in place by springs). I don't think my guitar is warped (although having lost a guitar to this, I'm rather paranoid). I don't have a nearby tech close enough to set this guitar up for me and assess it properly. They exist, but not really close enough to me.

When I tried going a full octave higher the fret buzz disappeared, however the above problem was there. Now, keeping it where it is causes more issues with drop tuning and lower tunings, because the strings are more slack and closer to the strings and therefore higher chance of fret buzz on more strings. So based on this, does it just need an action adjustment?

EDIT: Maybe I wasn't being clear. I meant tuning it so the string gets tighter and tighter until it gets round to E again. The bridge on my guitar is held in place by springs in the body so it's free to rise up and down depending on how tight the strings are. I'm not sure what it's called, but I think it's called a floating bridge. Anyway, that comes up so far that it doesn't look good for it
Last edited by epic FUZZ at May 24, 2014,
#2
Quote by epic FUZZ
This is sort of a repeat on my thread a while back. Basically, fairly new guitar with very little mileage and it has fret buzz. Looking a it it seems like it might be caused by the action being a little too low for the low E string. Now I could tune it a whole octave higher, but that stresses the string and the bridge is so far out off the body by that point it doesn't look healthy (it's one of those Ibanez bridges that's held in place by springs). I don't think my guitar is warped (although having lost a guitar to this, I'm rather paranoid). I don't have a nearby tech close enough to set this guitar up for me and assess it properly. They exist, but not really close enough to me.

When I tried going a full octave higher the fret buzz disappeared, however the above problem was there. Now, keeping it where it is causes more issues with drop tuning and lower tunings, because the strings are more slack and closer to the strings and therefore higher chance of fret buzz on more strings. So based on this, does it just need an action adjustment?

First of all, I believe you meant a full semi-tone not octave, an octave is 12 semi-tones and that would snap your strings before you get anywhere close to an octave higher. But that's just nitpicking on terminology I think you might need to be a bit clearer on your problem with tuning it half a step higher though as I don't understand what you mean by bridge being far out off the body. That said, there are 2 main solutions to your problem:

1) Set up your guitar to remove the buzz, depending on where the buzz occurs, it might require a bridge height or truss rod adjustment, the latter of which I'd suggest getting a tech to do for you since you mentioned you're paranoid about warped necks.

2) A simpler one, use heavier gauge strings. However they do feel different so you might not like it but if you're going to be using drop tuning anyway, it should be easy to get used to.
#3
I don't think you want to tune a half step higher. The bridge pulling up is common if you have more tension than usual, or if the springs just aren't strong enough to keep the bridge flat when the guitar is in tune. You can get additional springs.

You need to look at three different things, or a combination of them: neck tilt, truss rod adjustment, and action (string) height.

It sounds like you have a Strat-style guitar, given the spring-loaded bridge. If so, you can probably use the Stratocaster adjustment instructions as a starting point. You can find them here: http://www.fender.com/support/articles/stratocaster-setup-guide/

You can try adjusting things yourself. As long as you don't take things too far, the worst that can happen is that you'll need to pay someone to adjust it properly.

First take a look at the truss rod adjustment. Look down the neck from the headstock, looking at the way the frets line up. There should be a slight dip around the 8th fret. The neck shouldn't be perfectly straight, and it shouldn't bow up in the center. If you want to go by the book, either get setup instructions from Ibanez for your guitar, or use the Fender ones above.

Your guitar should have a way of adjusting the tilt of the neck, either with a built-in adjuster or with shims between the neck and body. If you've adjusted the truss rod properly, and you set string height to where you want it, but get string height that's too high or low at the first or last frets, you probably need to adjust the tilt. If the string height is correct at the first few frets but is too high on the last few frets, your neck is tilted up too much. If the string height is right at the last few frets but is hitting the first few frets, the neck is tilted down too much. This assumes your truss rod is properly adjusted and you have the correct string height at the 8th or so fret.

Once the truss rod and tilt are correct, you can adjust the height of the strings to either the specifications, or to your liking. If you like a low action, adjust them lower until you get fret buzz at any fret along the neck. Or you can adjust them higher if you prefer a higher action for playing slide guitar or just for the feel.

I like my action low, but not as low as it can possibly go. That's just me.

I should qualify everything I've said by noting that I've only been playing for two years. However, I'm good at mechanical things, and all of my guitars are adjusted to where they play very comfortably for me.

Edited to add that this thread should probably be in another forum.
Last edited by Monkeyleg at May 24, 2014,
#4
Quote by Monkeyleg
I don't think you want to tune a half step higher. The bridge pulling up is common if you have more tension than usual, or if the springs just aren't strong enough to keep the bridge flat when the guitar is in tune. You can get additional springs.

You need to look at three different things, or a combination of them: neck tilt, truss rod adjustment, and action (string) height.

It sounds like you have a Strat-style guitar, given the spring-loaded bridge. If so, you can probably use the Stratocaster adjustment instructions as a starting point. You can find them here: http://www.fender.com/support/articles/stratocaster-setup-guide/

You can try adjusting things yourself. As long as you don't take things too far, the worst that can happen is that you'll need to pay someone to adjust it properly.

First take a look at the truss rod adjustment. Look down the neck from the headstock, looking at the way the frets line up. There should be a slight dip around the 8th fret. The neck shouldn't be perfectly straight, and it shouldn't bow up in the center. If you want to go by the book, either get setup instructions from Ibanez for your guitar, or use the Fender ones above.

Your guitar should have a way of adjusting the tilt of the neck, either with a built-in adjuster or with shims between the neck and body. If you've adjusted the truss rod properly, and you set string height to where you want it, but get string height that's too high or low at the first or last frets, you probably need to adjust the tilt. If the string height is correct at the first few frets but is too high on the last few frets, your neck is tilted up too much. If the string height is right at the last few frets but is hitting the first few frets, the neck is tilted down too much. This assumes your truss rod is properly adjusted and you have the correct string height at the 8th or so fret.

Once the truss rod and tilt are correct, you can adjust the height of the strings to either the specifications, or to your liking. If you like a low action, adjust them lower until you get fret buzz at any fret along the neck. Or you can adjust them higher if you prefer a higher action for playing slide guitar or just for the feel.

I like my action low, but not as low as it can possibly go. That's just me.

I should qualify everything I've said by noting that I've only been playing for two years. However, I'm good at mechanical things, and all of my guitars are adjusted to where they play very comfortably for me.

Edited to add that this thread should probably be in another forum.


I'm not sure how a tech would get access to my truss rod since this:


Unless Ibanez have another way to get to it. I'll check the handbook
EDIT: Ahh, that panel is supposed to be unscrewed. It makes sense now
Last edited by epic FUZZ at May 24, 2014,
#5
So you have floating bridge. In that case you'd really want to read up on how to set up guitars with a floating bridge/trem. It involves adjusting the springs so that your bridge is level. The previous post pretty much have all the info you'll need. And yes, you unscrew that panel to gain access to your truss rod which you adjust with an allen key. But be very careful in that you never turn more than a quarter turn per adjustment or you could really mess up your neck permanently. And regarding neck tilt, I believe not all guitars have the option of adjusting neck tilt, I know mine doesn't but it's never really been an issue for me. However, if you have a bolt on neck and would like to adjust the neck angle, one possible solution I've seen is to place a layer of something between the neck and body of the guitar.

To summarize, read up everything on setting up guitars properly, there's a pretty good guide around here you can use as starting point.